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Rivers are and have historically been essential for transportation and even food and nourishment. Many of the world's most famous cities and civilizations depended on rivers for their establishment and often depend on them for growth, even today. While measuring the length and size of rivers tends to be a game of approximations owing to the fluidity of this statistic, the following are acknowledged to be the world's longest and mightiest.

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1. Nile River

The north-flowing Nile River has long been the world’s longest, and possibly even the world’s most famous, river. Many civilizations have grown up on this river, most notably the ancient Egyptians. The Nile is located in Eastern Africa and flows through many countries, including Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and, of course, present-day Egypt. Flowing for a total of 4,130 miles, the Nile is difficult to navigate, entirely owing to its notorious cataracts or white water rapids. People living along the banks of the Nile are still dependent on this celebrated river for farming, water, fishing, and transportation.

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